What are you really eating? I thought I knew what I was really eating, most of the time. But I really didn’t. That was until I watched “The Flavorists,” a segment on 60 Minutes about how food scientists specialize in tweaking tastes in our foods. The video also explains what “natural flavor” really is. After watching the segment I was disturbed, to say the least.
As a follow up to watching the video, I scoured our cupboards to find some “natural flavor” foods. We typically eat pretty clean around here and outside of bread, cereal and the occasional crackers. I try to cook most everything. But I did find one culprit. This is the ingredient list for a package of chicken bouillon cubes.
What Are You Really Eating?
Let’s go back to that natural flavor as you will hear about in the video. As this 60 Minutes report indicates: “Natural flavors come from nature, but not necessarily from what the label implies. For example, strawberry and vanilla flavor can come from the gland in a beaver’s backside.”
That is not a typo.
My jaw about dropped when I heard that. I can’t be the only person who thought natural strawberry flavor meant it came from strawberries. Further, the “flavorists” admit to creating tastes so good they take on an addictive nature. The goal is to get the consumer hooked on these man-made flavors so they will buy – and buy again.
As much as I try to avoid processed foods I still eat them from time to time. And when I go out to eat I don’t know for certain what is in all of the food I order. More and more reports like this disturb me. More disturbing, however, is how many Americans probably do not realize this is going on.
If the video window doesn’t work, you can find the “Flavorists” video here as well. Now we know what we are really eating.
*This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.